What can be done on a local level and on individual developments to ensure home ownership is not beyond the reach of aspiring young people and families?

Brock Carmichael has been a contributor to North West Business Insider’s ‘Talking Property’ section each month for over 18 months now. We are asked for our opinions every month on a range of topics. This was May’s. 

Chris Bolland, Managing Partner

“House prices have risen by almost 160% since the mid-1990s while young people’s incomes have grown by 23%, the likelihood of young people in their own homes has halved.

News came last month that the “stigma around renting is slowly eroding” becoming a state of choice. That’s a great thing, it fits the greater flexibility needed for today’s job market and family dynamics. Renting shouldn’t be felt a trap but an attractive choice.

Build to Rent is helping here but perhaps we can learn from the ‘Barratt story’ with ‘Studio Solo’ (800 sold within four months) in the 80s and the 1977 Mayfair where the mortgage was less than renting.

Modular housing will come some way to solving the shortage of homes but we need to find new sources of investment to boost house-building, perhaps diverting funds currently spent on subsidising rents (95%) to building homes (5%) and offering looser credit and first-time buyer initiatives.”

Michael Cosser, Partner

“A broader range of choice is needed to suit the diversity of modern households, their varying needs and often limited financial means.

Councils and Registered Providers are best placed to bring about these changes and they have greater insight and more incentives to tackle these issues at a local level.

We are already seeing this change taking place with the setting up of Foundations the new ethical housing company established by Liverpool City Council.

Amongst its objectives are to increase supply, to deliver new house types and to revolutionise the Rent to Buy sector in the city. It plans to reinvest money from the sale of a proportion of these new homes directly in its development programme whose aim is to deliver 10,000 new properties by 2028.

Part of the solution must be to address also the need for greater diversity. Foundations intends to do so by developing city centre apartments aimed at families, larger family housing, affordable home ownership products, and the remodelling of older housing stock to meet the needs of modern families.”